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A police officer has been shot dead after a gunman barricaded himself in a home and continues to shoot towards officers.
Sergeant Chris Ward has died after being injured in the incident, local media reports.
Another cop, Deputy Logan Fox was also hurt in the chaos and his condition is unknown as he remains at the scene of Boone in North Carolina.
The standoff has been ongoing for some time after Watauga County Sherriff's Office arrived at the home to undergo a welfare check at around 10am local time (3pm GMT).
The situation is ongoing with cops and a bomb squad currently at the scene, with the suspect firing periodically in direction of officers stationed nearby.
The sheriff's office said the two officers were conducting the welfare check after the homeowner and his family did not attend work or respond to phone calls.
Deputies entered the residence in the Hardaman Circle area after discovering all vehicles belonging to the family were on the property.
When they entered, shots were fired by the gunman, with one cop airlifted to a medical centre for care.
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“This is an incredibly tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community,” said Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.
“I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”
The shooter remains inside the home, currently surrounded by law enforcement.
Nearby residents have also been evacuated.
"I had just walked out in the yard and heard 'Bang, bang, bang, bang,'" Wiley Brown told WSOC. "I really didn't know what it was."
Authorities said they don't know the names or conditions of any civilians who may be involved.
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx issued a statement on Twitter saying her prayers were with those injured in the line of duty as well as the entire Watauga County Sheriff's Office.
"These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect us, and they deserve our profound gratitude every day," Foxx wrote.
The neighboring Ashe County sheriff, B. Phil Howell, wrote on Facebook asking for prayers toward the Watauga County Sheriff's Office.
He said: "If you can take 30 seconds right where you stand, pray for Watauga Co. Sheriffs Office, Ashe Sheriffs Office and all responding LEO, Medics & Fire. We need every single one."
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